In Weight Watcher’s I remember them calling these “red light foods”—the foods that a person should just keep completely out of the house and not even eat AT ALL. Green light foods would be ones like fruits and veggies and other foods that would most likely not throw you off the wagon. I remember at one Weight Watcher meeting a woman lamenting that she had eaten way too many grapes—this was when fruit actually counted as points on the WW plan. Our wise leader pointed out that eating too many grapes is not what got most of us overweight in the first place. Now I am not saying that eating too much of any food is a good thing, but let’s keep this in perspective. There is a huge difference between three bowls of sugary cereal and three bowls of grapes.
Yellow light foods would be things that you want to eat in moderation like meat, cheese, carbohydrates, and dairy products, but what separates a yellow light food and a red light food is really personal to each individual.
An absolute red light food for me is chocolate. I can hardly write this word without wanting to lick the screen. I cannot put one M&M, Hershey’s Kiss, or See’s candy in my mouth without going on a complete binge. I have actually been know to have the ability to eat an entire one-pound box of See's chocolate in one sitting without making myself sick. Actually, it is only known to me because as with any obsession, we rarely do it front of others. Can you say closet eater?
The other day I was sharing with my friend a story about a particularly low point in my life. My neighbor had gone to Hawaii and had brought back a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts for my family. As no one else was home to see this thoughtful gift, I promptly hid it in a drawer where no one else could find it. In the middle of the night I woke up to...and I say this very loosely...my box of chocolates. I shoved so many of those chocolates into my mouth that I was actually starting to feel full. That’s when I started licking the chocolate off and spitting the nuts back into the box. Like I said, a very low point. Nothing is lower than stealing candy from your children.
Back to the Cinnamon Toast Crunch…this is a hard food for me to eliminate, as my kids actually love eating this cereal. Who am I to deprive them of a yummy treat when they usually make such healthy choices on a regular basis? When I was a child my mom actually made her own bread, granola, and only had healthy food in the house. This lack of occasional treats is why I would take my allowance and go buy candy, chips, white bread and peanut butter and hide them under my bed so I could eat them without my mother’s watchful eye. This may have begun my obsession with food, and I just don’t want my kids to inherit this same difficulty.
After much deliberation, I think I may have actually found a solution. The other day I put one cup of Fiber One cereal along with half a cup of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and my almond milk into my cereal bowl. Not surprisingly, I could not eat more than one bowl of Fiber One infused cereal. I was so full I could hardly put the last bite in my mouth. In addition, it actually tasted like cinnamon and sugar so it satisfied my sweet tooth. I am hoping that this will allow me to eat less of my tempting sugary cereal, while still making this cereal choice available to my kids. Weight loss, like many things in life, is all about making compromises. I cannot completely deprive myself of things I love, or I could risk taking a long detour off my road to the more flabulous me.